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Gerald Weissmann, editor-in-chief of FASEB journal, talks straight.

It seems that our letter to NHS chiefs has crossed the Atlantic. In a gloriously scholarly and funny editorial, Gerald Weissmann MD, of New York University, puts the knife into homeopathy and its royal advocate. Click here to read the whole thing. Here’s something to whet your appetite.

After publication of our letter . . .

“Prince Charles was unfazed—on the day the Open Letter was published, he stopped at St Tydfil’s Hospital in South Wales to watch alternative medicine at work. He accepted a “spiritual” crystal, as if he were Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts School, accepting the Philosopher’s Stone. Unlike Dumbledore, however, who only professed witchcraft and wizardry, Prince Charles called up every form of “integrative therapy” against Alzheimer’s disease (9). One notes that when Prince Charles and other fans of unproven or disproved medical practices use terms such as “integrated therapy” or “alternative medicine”, they’re following the lead of creationists who hide under the term “intelligent design”—these are all convenient slogans that permit the credulous to con the gullible.”

“Hogwarts is certainly on the move! If the trend persists, perhaps MIT or Cal Tech will march in step with the medical schools and offer prizes for integrative alchemy or alternative engineering. But Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, dean of the Harvard Medical School before age of Oprah had the last word on homeopathy:

“Some of you will probably be more or less troubled by that parody of medieval theology which finds its dogma in the doctrine of homeopathy, its miracle of transubstantiation in the mystery of its dilutions, its church in the people who have mistaken their century, and its priests in those who have mistaken their calling.”

[Oliver Wendell Holmes, Medical
Essays. The Young Practitioner
, [A Valedictory Address delivered to the Graduating Class of the Bellevue Hospital College, March 2, 1871.] ”

For more delightful writing by Gerald Weissmann, click here.

Special recommendations
Darwin’s Audubon: Gerald Weissmann on the Art of Science.
Swift-boating Darwin: alternative or complementary science
The facts of evolution: fighting the Endarkenment. . The word ‘endarkenment’ sums up only too well much of what appears here.

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